religion

Salvation . . .

You: What does it mean to be saved?

Me: That depends upon your religious affiliation, but as a rule the Christian church teaches that Jesus Christ willingly gave up his life as a sacrifice for your sins, and by your acknowledgement of that sacrifice you have been freed from the curse of sin and death. It teaches that Heaven is reserved for those who die in the faith . . . Hell is reserved for those who don’t.

Christian doctrine accepts a convert as they are and promises them a new life where they will be forgiven of past sins and become a new person as they live under the living word of God and His bible. In time the simplicity of that message created the largest and most powerful religion known to man. People flocked to the Mother church and her teachings by the millions.

When I was a younger man I know I did. I was at the end of my rope. I needed help from somewhere. Jesus was there, free and open armed, for me. I was born again in a local church and as long as I remained in good standing with the church and it’s doctrine I was guaranteed a place at the table when I got to Heaven. Heady stuff for a guy who had absolutely no religious affiliation whatsoever, and it worked great for a couple of years . . . BUT . . .

In time I began to notice that my life had become an ‘us vs them’ affair, something I was not comfortable with for many reasons. I began to question . . . especially when I realized I, as well as almost every church person I knew, had pretty much traded our past sins in for an open, ongoing, and obnoxious version of self righteousness. I was not pleased with myself.

I studied the bible, prayed for this and that, even lived on a Christian commune for a couple years . . . but after all was said and done I was the same guy I’d always been, but now I had to hide behind this magical connection to God. Anyway the questions became too many, the doubts too large, and I became what we church people feared more than anything else . . . a reprobate backsliding his way to Hell!

Back to the question of salvation: What was I being saved for? Why me? What if I couldn’t read the bible? What if I was born a Muslim? A Jew? An Indian? Chinese? What about the rest of creation? The questions came on like an endless series of waves in a heavy storm and I felt myself sinking under them . . . so I did what I do best. I hopped a plane and headed off into the sunset and a new adventure in Seattle.

Today I am not down on any church, but in general I believe we have gotten it all wrong when it comes to Christianity. I believe we have been duped by a ministry clearly bent on self aggrandizement. Guys who have created magical doctrines in order to rule over their flock of believers instead of taking the time and patience to teach them to practice what the simple teachings of Christ actually meant. We Americans are an overly spoiled, ‘all show and no go’ people. Even our version of Christianity, (especially the TV ministry bullshit), proves it to us.

Bottom line . . . It is easier to WORSHIP Jesus than it is to LEARN from him . . . and the ministers are using our spiritual laziness against us by promoting their version of American exceptionalism in order to control our minds, and give themselves a great life in their shiny new church. These Pharisees and false prophets are alive and well and living among us.

So here’s my answer to your question on salvation:  Jesus didn’t appear on the scene to SAVE you. He came to TEACH you how to SAVE yourself. . . and if you choose to follow and practice his teachings, he will be your teacher and you his student. And what can be more satisfying to a teacher than to have a student who learns his lesson?

Jesus was a special being, no one can argue that. I believe he existed and was a thorn in the sides of the priests of that day, just as you will become if you follow his lead. I don’t believe he was a special creation though. I believe he was an old soul who obtained awareness at a very early age and dedicated his life to the cause of teaching humanity a better way.

I believe there have been many teachers who have come and gone throughout the ages who were born for the very same reason, and I believe they all have based their teachings on one four cornered foundation.

house of god
You are being saved for no other reason than to build THIS house . . . you may never know it, you may never be awarded anything other than the satisfaction of knowing you helped build it . . . but that will be enough.

 

Science vs Religion

science vs religion

Michael Crichton, author of State of Fear and other best-selling novels, delivered this lecture at the Commonwealth Club on September 15, 2003.

“I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer,” opens Crichton. “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

You can read the entire speech in PDF format at www.heartland.org/policy-documents/mankinds-greatest-challenge  . . .

This is not a rebuttal as much as my own viewpoint on the subject. I do not refute what Michael is saying . . . I agree with much of it . . . BUT . . . like Paul Harvey used to say, here’s my rest of the story.

(more…)

The Abomination Of Desolation

obomination

In the Christian bible there is reference in the book of Daniel to the – abomination of desolation –  I know the interpretation most biblical scholars have come up with, but in my opinion if one is to study the bible or the Tao Te Ching or any other spiritual text he must interpret what he is reading for himself. The holy books only work for people who have understanding and that means we must interpret it ourselves and apply what we’ve learned to ourselves. As we grow and mature our understanding grows also, and our interpretation changes. Only those who have locked themselves into religious dogma and church hierarchy remain, from cradle to grave, locked in obedience to a priestly order and their rule of law.

This is fine of course, but if you are a seeker of truth and knowledge and wisdom, you must break free from the matrix of religion and head out on your own. The pathway is not marked and will only open before you as you approach the dead end.

My interpretation of -the abomination of desolation- goes something like this. . . . In the beginning of God’s creation He set man upon the earth to be steward over all His stuff . . . He did not GIVE us His stuff  any more than I would give the keys of my truck to a five year old. He made us steward over it in the hopes of our future maturation. (more…)

The Way Of An Acorn

acorn

Today I am adding a “types and shadows” section to this blog . . . not because I consider myself to be a spokesperson for God ( like pastors and preachers of all ilk do when they read from a book and play the “God told me to tell you” game.)  . . . I am a loner and I don’t understand religion at all . . . I DO feel, though, that it is very important for all of us to begin realizing that we are ALL spokespersons for God and our purpose on this planet is not to plunder and rape our mother as we are now doing.

Anyway, since I now see that Creedence Clearwater’s ‘bad moon’ has already risen, I have decided to write (what I consider to be) the reality behind the spiritual lessons our earth mother is trying to teach us.  Her types and shadows are everywhere . . . and they all point in the same direction.. . . . to a God far different and far more mysterious than that old man in the clouds with his hierarchy to heaven. . . . we are in heaven right now, but because we are too dumb to realize it, we have created our heaven into our hell.

Following is a story I wrote some years ago about a people who got lost immediately upon arrival because they chose to worship rather than observe closely and learn the truths contained in this wonderful dimension we find ourselves sharing in. (more…)

Who Am I?

who am i

Who am I anyway? What am I? What’s my purpose . . . or is there even a purpose at all to any of this?

These are a few of the questions I have been asking myself over the years and somewhat (secretly or loudly) trying to figure out. Questions upon questions run through my mind like a junkie chasing his next fix . . . but usually the answers elude me and I have to experience a thing before I learn it’s lesson. . . . bummer . . .

Why can’t I just believe! Have faith! Listen to what they tell me! Read the good book, follow directions and queue up behind my choice of religion along with the rest of the crowd. Then I would just have to pay my tithes, listen to the pied piper and prepare for Heaven . . . or (gasp) follow this path I’m currently on and get sent on a one way trip to Hell. . . . “That’s the choice you have Jimbo . . . get used to the idea of Hell because you ain’t good enough for Heaven! . . . even if you had 15 more lives, you wouldn’t make the grade . . . Of course just say the magic words, ‘I accept Jesus as my personal saviour’ and your in scott free!” (see next installment) (more…)

Who Is God?

god

Since time began God has been around in one form or another. Depending on when, where, and what age you were born in, you would have received from your elders an entirely different picture of Him . . .

Who is God anyway? This entity with the many names and personalities, this multi-faceted Father of the Universe, this Creator declaring His love, yet demanding our worship or else.

In our time, religious warfare has ravaged the planet. People of differing philosophies are killing one another to prove the point that they are the ‘chosen’ of the God of love and peace . . . What gives? (more…)

Our Awakening

Jesus said “You must be born again.” What does it mean to be born again? Does it mean to worship Jesus as savior of the world, get baptized, follow church doctrine, and do what the elders and self professed prophets tell you?

 Jesus may have been your teacher . . . or the Buddha . . . or Mohammad . . . or Moses . . . or the Hindu Veda . . . but isn’t the goal of any good teacher to teach? Doesn’t their greatest joy come from watching you activate what they taught you?

So what good does it do you to play the pawn in the game of religion, when you were born to be the King?

Awakened, is that moment when a person begins to realize, and to understand that this entire planet is a teaching tool for them, that they are NOT a person who has a soul . . . but they ARE a soul possessing a person. Their goal in life is to learn through experience, and to grow spiritually. . . and the only boundaries they have in this endeavor are the ones they have placed upon themselves.

So what is enlightenment? Is it something that comes upon a person suddenly and they morph into something wise and wonderful? No, I don’t think so. Enlightenment . . . born again . . . awakened . . . all mean pretty much the same thing.

Once awakened, a person begins to realize the potential and the power they possess. The trappings of the world begin to lose their flavor as they are replaced by the desire to learn, and to experience, and to grow in a spiritual way. They also realize this born again awakening is merely the beginning of a very long journey . . . that they are now excited to begin.

They realize that “salvation” is for children as it does not reveal the answer to any of life’s questions. Being saved (from what . . . for what?) is merely a self righteous “feel good” for the child. . . just the same as “going to hell” is a fear inspired “feel bad” for the child.

The pathway to enlightenment has no magic, nor any short cuts. It’s a tough and grueling climb, but the view from the top of the mountain will have been worth it once a person realizes the truth that they have only been an individual in the flesh. That in the spiritual reality, not only are they their brothers keeper, but they are Spirit one and the same.

 

 

 

The Fool

A man known throughout the kingdom as a fool one Sunday morning during mass walked into the town cathedral. He noticed the priest in all his holiness. He noticed the solemnity of the congregation. He heard the declaration of their sinful lives and pleas for forgiveness as they partook of the host . . . and being a fool, he laughed.

The priest quickly had the fool cast into the street where he was berated for his lack of reverence and ordered never to return until he was willing to repent of his sin and plea for forgiveness as the others had done. Otherwise, they told him, he was doomed to hell and damnation.

The fool walked off to his shack in the woods and the silence of the hills surrounding it, where he much preferred the babbling of the small brook over the babbles of the religious and their conflicting dogmas.

He had not been laughing at the church, or the priest, or the priest’s congregation. He had been laughing at the absurdity of it all, for the fool knew that only by being silent and listening could one talk to God.

two Sisters

Two Sisters

 Two sisters were walking the beach early one morning at sunrise, when they came upon a number of shore birds running back and forth in front of the foamy surf. As the water advanced, the birds retreated, as the water retreated, the birds advanced. Over and over again the birds continued this strange behavior.

“Why don’t they take a break and just relax at the tide line?” The younger sister asked. “It would be so much easier for them because that’s where the food all ends up anyways. ”

“The surf offers up the freshest food,” said the older sister. “But the birds must be willing to dance with her in order to receive it.”

The younger sister, humbled by the beauty of the moment, lifted her arms towards the sky and said, “Dear God, thank YOU for this beautiful morning.”

The elder sister, understanding the intimacy of the moment, said, “My God, YOU are so beautiful this morning.”

Which of these sisters understood the meaning of ‘oneness’?

religious oneness

If Lao Tzu had never been (and many say he wasn’t) the author of “The Tao Te Ching,” the Way would remain. The teaching would stand on it’s own regardless of who wrote it. Following the Way is merely acquiring wisdom by simply observing the flow of natural events and moving lock step within it.

If Siddhartha had never become the Buddha his teachings of personal responsibility and enlightenment would have remained. His teachings were based on the Veda’s of India, not on his person. He claimed enlightenment was available to all through the process of “death to self” and the birthing of “oneness”.

If Jesus would have never been the messiah and worshiped as the son of God anymore than the others, his teachings would have been just as viable because most of them were also draw from ancient Indian text.

All these teachings from all these different men had this one thing in common . . . the pull towards a higher, more aware way of life.

The followers of Jesus did one better by melding their teacher into the Godhead by claiming him to be Saviour and Son of God. In time He became a cult figure of such power and strength that the mere acknowledgement of his name was enough for an individual person to be saved for eternity from the wrath of hell (that place reserved for all who chose NOT to acknowledge his name) If it were proven Jesus was not the son of God nor did he have the power of salvation to give, the Christian religion would die.

Without Lao Tzu, The Tao would go on. Without Siddhartha, Buddhism would remain viable. Without Jesus Christ the corner stone would be pulled from the foundation and the whole structure of Christianity would collapse into a heap of rubble.

Today it seems to me that segments of the Christian, Muslim, as well as Judaism religion have all gone over the top in self righteous zeal by declaring themselves exclusive.

We can’t forget there are two groups in these churches. Those above yes, but also the believers who have taken their master’s teachings to heart and are working their way towards enlightenment just like the Taoist and the Buddhist.

Most major religion has their holiday, today is celebrating Jesus’s resurrection. Is it true? Who knows?

But as I see it this is a day having special meaning to millions of good, solid, people who seek only to believe in the Son of God and possess the security that the belief promises. To these people who try their best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I say more power to you . . . .and I call you brother . . . because that’s exactly what I am doing also, but as a Taoist.

Namaste